The New York Rangers
and restricted free agent defenseman Michael Del Zotto
have agreed to terms on a new contract.
Del Zotto is the first restricted free agent to sign under the terms of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which took effect Saturday after both sides signed a Memorandum of Understanding.
TSN's Bob McKenzie reports that the two-year deal carries an average annual value of $2.55 million.
Del Zotto, 22, was chosen No. 20 in the 2008 NHL Draft by the Rangers and made his NHL debut the following season. As a rookie, he had nine goals and 37 points. last season, he had 10 goals and 41 points, both of which led all Rangers defensemen. He has played in 201 regular-season games, scoring 21 goals and adding 68 assists for 89 points, along with 88 penalty minutes.
The Rangers also announced that defenseman Matt Gilroy
has come to terms on an NHL contract. Gilroy, a former Ranger who became a free agent last summer, had been playing with New York's farm team, the Connecticut Whale, after signing an AHL deal. He has six goals and 15 points in 34 AHL games.
Del Zotto and Gilroy were on the ice Sunday when the Rangers opened training camp. However, first-line center Brad Richards
missed practice; he's reportedly suffering from the flu.